Well, Mitt Romney made it official Friday: He’s running for the United States Senate from Utah this year.
Here is his announcement video (which is also embedded at right).
But maybe you don’t have to view it.
Didn’t you hear a loud Heavenly Host of Angels singing the announcement?
Friday night, Romney was scheduled to address a Utah County GOP Lincoln Day event, his first public appearance after his announcement.
UtahPolicy.com’s pollster, Dan Jones & Associates, has found Romney basically a shoo-in, as he runs for Sen. Orrin Hatch’s seat.
Romney – who helped save the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Olympics, and carried the state easily in 2012 when he was the Republican Party’s presidential nominee – remains very popular in his adoptive state.
(He was born in Michigan, went to BYU, lived in the state before and during the Olympics, served as Massachusetts governor, and moved back here several years ago.)
Almost assuredly, Romney will gather the 28,000 signatures needed to make his party’s June primary ballot.
His web site has an option where you can sign up.
His press release announcement also says he will go to the state GOP convention in April, where around 4,500 delegates would vote.
However, while Romney could win the party nomination if he gets more than 60 percent of the delegate vote, he could still be challenged on the primary ballot if another Republican goes the signature route and achieves the 28,000 signature number.
State Auditor John Dougall is considering a run, and he likely would just go to the convention.
State Rep. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, is also considering challenging Romney. He, too, would go just the convention route.
But either way, if Romney gets on the primary ballot via signatures, Jones’ polling shows there likely isn’t a Republican out there who could beat him.
Same for the general election in November.
Several Democrats, including Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jennie Wilson, are in the race – but not likely to beat Romney unless something very strange happens.
Romney has around $6 million left over in his presidential campaign account. And he can legally use that in the U.S. Utah Senate race.
Hatch spent around $6 million in his 2010 re-election – but more than half of that came in a year-long effort to round up possible pro-Hatch delegates and get them elected in neighborhood GOP caucuses that year.
Romney could spend much less than that and win the open Senate seat this year.
In his video, Romney says the word “Utah” about 1,000 times.
You see his emphasis – he’ll be talking about bringing Utah values to Washington, D.C.
He also talked about straightening up the 2002 Olympics, which he did.
In short, Utah will have a new senator come January 2019.
Right now it looks like it will be Romney, unless something very odd happens.
Below is the Romney news release.
OREM, UTAH (Feb. 16, 2018) – Today, Governor Mitt Romney announced his candidacy to represent Utah in the United States Senate.
“Utahns are known for hard work, innovation, and our can-do pioneering spirit. I am running for United States Senate because in these trying times there is no better moment to bring Utah’s values to Washington. Utah’s economic and political success is a model for our nation; I am ready to fight for this great state and advocate for solutions that improve the lives of Utahns,” said Romney.
In the coming months, Romney plans to visit each of the state’s 29 counties to talk with Utahns about their priorities, issues, and concerns. Utah’s dual-track nomination process includes gathering signatures for a June primary and participating in the caucus and convention system. Romney plans to participate in both the signature gathering process and the state GOP convention in April. (To learn more about Utah’s election process click here.)
Romney is uniquely positioned to serve Utah and fight for Utahns. He led the 2002 Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Winter Olympics and, with a team of volunteers and managers, turned the struggling Games into a success story. Romney was the co-founder of Bain Capital, a leading investment company, and the turnaround CEO of Bain and Company, an international management consulting firm. Romney currently serves on the board of directors of Marriott International and as Chairman of the Solamere Capital Executive Partner Group.
As governor of Massachusetts, Romney worked across the aisle to cut taxes 19 times, develop a health insurance program that covered all citizens, establish the John and Abigail Adams College Scholarship program for the top quarter of high school students, and balance the budget every year.
In addition to his public and private sector experience, Romney has served in several charities and as a Bishop and a Stake President in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He currently works with CharityVision in Salt Lake City and the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases in Boston. Romney earned his bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and his JD/MBA from Harvard University. He is the proud husband to Ann Romney, father to five sons, and grandfather to 24 grandchildren.